An Open Letter To Gene Simmons Regarding Which Line-Up Of Kiss Should Perform At RRHOF Induction Ceremony!

The only Kiss line-up that matters (left to right): Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley,
Peter Criss, and some asshole who thinks otherwise
The other day, I was deeply disheartened by the contents of an article explaining how the members of the rock band KISS could not come to an agreement as to which members would perform when the band is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in April.

As someone who spent a good chunk of their teenage years as a card-carrying member of The KISS Army and owner of everything and anything with a KISS logo on it back before such things were as plentiful as they are now, I think I'm qualified to offer an opinion on the subject.

The right thing to do, Gene - because, let's face it, this has your smarmy egotism written all over it - is to perform with Paul, Ace, and Peter.  No Bruce Kulick, no Tommy Thayer, no Vinnie Vincent.  For as much as you'd like us to believe that these latter-day Kiss members deserve credit for playing a part in the band's recent success, the truth is that all any of them have ever done from day one is try to fill the shoes of Ace or Peter.  Hell, you've gone so far as to make Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer don the very costumes that Ace and Peter made famous, as if that's all it takes to replace them.

To exclude Peter and Ace from this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform at this ceremony because you want equal credit given to their replacements is the height of hubris, even for you.  By that logic, Foreigner's Mick Jones would be entitled to demand that current members Kelly Hansen and Jeff Pilson be treated as somehow worthy of representing the band onstage in place of Lou Gramm and Rick Wills, himself a replacement for original bassist Ed Gagliardi who played on their first two albums.

See, one could argue that Hansen has been in the band longer than Gagliardi so he deserves to perform with the band should the RRHOF ever induct Foreigner, but the fact is that Gagliardi played on the group's first two albums, Foreigner and Double Vision.  Like it or not, Foreigner owes their current popularity as a nostalgia act to those early albums, which included such iconic hits as "Cold As Ice", "Feels Like The First Time", "Long, Long Way From Home", "Double Vision", "Hot Blooded" and "Blue Morning, Blue Day", among others.

Likewise, Kiss owes its continuing popularity as a nostalgia act to their early albums as well and to the men who played on them.  Period.  Anything else is sacrilege, pure and simple.

While it's no secret, Mr. Simmons, that your ultimate desire is to see a version of Kiss in every regional market, like some blood-spewing Blue Man Group, would you induct the guy who plays you in the Poughkeepsie production simply because he's been doing it as long as Thayer has been playing the role of "Ace Frehley"?


Like it or not, the right thing to do is to perform with Paul, Ace, and Peter.  I don't expect it to happen, mind you, because the sad truth is that you've chosen to keep your eye on the bottom line rather than pay proper respect to those who helped you get to the top.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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